Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy

Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy

Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy

Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy


This work is a doctrinal examination of war termination strategy and conflict resolution as a dependent pair, requiring a plan to achieve both in unison in advance of a fight.

• Examples taken from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with models of war termination successes and failures to enhance the understanding of scenarios for possible resolution

• A full array of definitions offering clarity for the reader seeking to grasp the book's methodology for war termination

• Primary source documentation related to the author's seven combat deployments to the Middle East and over five years of personal involvement in combat and its aftermath.

• Vignettes from history dating from the Revolutionary War to the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

• Sidebars offering relevant charts, graphs, and newspaper articles

• Examples of conflict resolution to enhance an understanding of war termination outcomes

• Firsthand accounts from various military officers in the form of Staff College manuscripts

• A robust listing of books, interviews, documents, and articles on war termination and conflict resolution theories


Are we there yet?

What parent has not heard that line wander up from the back seat, or thought it for himself or herself, while droning ahead on a long, lonesome highway? An automobile journey has a destination, and, sooner or later, you reach the end. Therefore, when the question arises, the aware driver can answer with an estimated arrival time. But all of that presupposes that you know where you are going.

One would like to think that when a country goes to war, it knows where it wants to end up. in contemporary American strategic thought, much time and energy is devoted to putative “endstates” and victory conditions. But, not unlike our generic car trip, the route chosen must get you to the final stop. One cannot drive to Las Vegas by going north out of New York City, and we would scoff mightily at a vehicle operator who tried such a maneuver. It works only when you pick an objective that connects to your approach, and it works even better if the path selected is smooth, straight, and short.

Yet the United States, like other countries in history, has at times moved well down the road before determining that something has gone seriously wrong with the strategic compass … not to mention the moral one. in certain circumstances, we have marched off to fight without fully thinking through where we really should go and how best we could get there. One thinks of the War of 1812, the Philippine Insurrection, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the current campaigning in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. To have any hope of justifying the blood sacrifices it demands, a war must end well.

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